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Coronavirus: RMC cadets being asked to leave campus as soon as possible

All officer cadets who can leave the Royal Military College campus are being asked to do so immediately.
All officer cadets who can leave the Royal Military College campus are being asked to do so immediately. Global Kingston

Cadets at the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada are being asked to leave campus immediately, due to concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A Facebook post from the college said the chief of the defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, “has directed RMC to immediately reduce the student population on campus as much as possible.”

READ MORE: National Defence union worried over RMC’s continued operations amid coronavirus pandemic

“Once the officer cadets leave the campus in the coming days, they will not be permitted to return for any reason,” RMC said.

According to RMC, all officer cadets who can leave and move into another residence are being told to do so. Those who cannot will remain on RMC grounds in barracks.

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“For those remaining on campus, critical services will be maintained and you will be supported. Departures will begin as early as possible, under the authority of the Training Wing.”

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All students, whether at home or in the barracks, will be completing their studies online until further notice.

National Defence union worried over RMC’s continued operations amid coronavirus pandemic
National Defence union worried over RMC’s continued operations amid coronavirus pandemic

The move comes a week after Global News first reported that staff at RMC were worried for their safety, since operations at the college had continued for the most part as usual, including dining in the mess hall, despite public health officials advising against large gatherings.

National Defence had noted last week that some classes had moved online, and some mess services had changed, but Tuesday’s decision to empty the RMC campus is a significant departure from previous National Defence policy to continue all Canadian Armed Forces training on campus.

To give time for students to move and instructors to change to online learning, all classes, including online classes, will be halted for one week, starting Wednesday, March 25 until and including March 31.

Classes will begin again April 1.

Royal Military College cadet tests negative for COVID-19 virus
Royal Military College cadet tests negative for COVID-19 virus

Convocation will not be held, graduation will be done in absentia and fourth-year graduating students will be commissioned at the base where they are posted.

In addition, RMC says dates of promotion for graduating cadets will not be affected by the change in schedule.

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There are currently no cases of COVID-19 reported at the school or at Canadian Forces Base Kingston.